Over the last few years during the pandemic, there has been steady growth of silent vlogs. These vlogs would show people how mindfulness and conscious living could not only calm you down, but also add dimensions to people’s lives that they had never dreamt of.
With their slow hypnotic and interesting presentation, they helped people understand that daily tasks were not mundane, but excellent chances to meditate.
Many focused on so-called regular tasks like cooking, cleaning the home, brushing teeth and preparing for the day. These visual and auditory delights were a feast for peace seekers and amassed over time millions of views.
People started to understand mindfulness and the gifts that trying to live consciously gave them.
Mindfulness is Not New, as you Probably Know
It was exactly what was needed. Health care professionals had been punting mindfulness loudly for years. They were giving instructions on how to spend a few moments a day in a wonderfully calm state for around 15 to 20 minutes.
Some joined groups and would go through the ten or 15 minutes purposefully, feeling better for doing something good for themselves. The theory is that those few minutes of perfect rest would rejuvenate your body over a longer time if adhered to regularly. Some people felt they couldn’t get into a mindful state and would be agitated, but it is much simpler than that.
The deliberate act of mind restfulness causes physiological changes to the body. Physiology includes lowered heart rate, slower breathing, and flight or fight hormones turned off or at least turned down.
It Can Be More of a Way of Life and is Easier than You Might Realize
Imagine turning this into your life. A slower, more deliberate pace. A life where meaningless tasks become so meaningful that they inspired you, filled you with peace and joy, and became simply a way of life.
To live consciously is to understand that every day we are given certain tasks we pretty much have to do. These types of tasks can seem repetitive, and it is their repetitive nature that makes them so special. The showering for work, sweeping the floors, preparing food, or preparing for the train journey to work.
Each Task is Embraced in Itself and Unto Itself.
Instead of cooking and thinking about the meal at the end, the actual task of cooking is embraced.
The slow rhythmic slicing of tomatoes, the delicate preparation of other foodstuffs, adding fresh herbs, savoring their texture at the end of your fingertips, and inhaling their magical potent smell. Setting a place to eat, even if you live alone, sleeping on a crisp clean pillow every night, even if you do sleep alone.
Honor yourself, no matter if you are alone or not.
Also read: How to Date Yourself & Why It’s Important
How Does This Work?
There are several theories along with physical evidence that support the belief that living consciously or mindfully does have a positive effect on the brain.
Cognitive behavioral therapists have gone so far as to study actual physiological changes in the brain after repeated adherence to quiet moments of meditation. This was evident in MRI scans of regular participants.
The amygdala found in the brain began to shrink after weeks of regular practice. The amygdala is the epicenter of emotion. The red button of the flight or fight response, if you will. If a person is upset, stressed or overwhelmed, the amygdala remembers this and can leak through feelings that we can experience negatively. Mostly stress and anxiety, as well as depression.
Not only did the amygdala’s reduction in size result in less anxiety, but also less depression.
Freudian analysts have also been aware of the conscious and unconscious effects of thinking on our lives. Mindfulness helps build those areas of the brain that filter out negative emotions and bring rational thinking to the fore.
Most schools of psychological thought now support meditation and mindfulness as a great method of reducing the stress response. They accept it increases feel-good emotions and increases rational thought.
Once people understand the benefits of conscious living, as opposed to moments of mindfulness, the effect increases, plus it makes mindfulness make more sense and more doable daily.
There is also a shift in societal expectations as people are changing. They are no longer buying into the popular 80s and 90s work yourself to the bone and tune out of yourself ethic. Now it is all about turning inward, making what you have matter, and enjoying the simpler things in life. Consumerism is turning finally, as ‘things’ become less important and experiences become more important.
So How Do You Live Consciously?
But now onto the big question, how do you actually manage to live consciously? Well, we have a few tips and suggestions that could make a difference and significantly improve your life.
Tip 1. Become Self Aware
Each person has an ebb and flow to their life, a rhythm of sorts. Try to understand what makes you happy. Find out what makes your heart sing.
These are simple things, like the view from a window, the sounds of certain birds, or the delightful patter of rain. Perhaps you prefer to be indoors, whilst others prefer to be outdoors. If you start to know yourself, you will start to design your life the way you want it.
Tip 2. Take Care of Yourself
This means in every way, every day. Make yourself a delicious, well-presented lunch for work. If you travel by train, take things along that comfort you. How about some hot tea? Perhaps a pleasant book, or even music that lifts your spirits or calms you.
Make sure to check in on yourself and notice if you are comfortable. If not, change it and manage it. Be aware that both body and mind comfort allows you to function better. It helps tough days at workflow more easily.
Decide to be kinder to others and offer help if you can. This could be offering to make a person a hot drink or a smile. Living consciously makes you aware of how your actions impact other people more, and how our actions come back to either bring us comfort or anxiety.
Tip 3. Be Clear About What Your Values are
Understanding what is important to us and living with purpose leads us forward in life. If you have certain values and are clear about them, they will lead you to make certain decisions, live a certain way and be happier.
People living in opposition to their values will suffer from stress, but those who understand themselves start to feel more relaxed and comfortable. Having clear boundaries and respecting other people’s boundaries has the wonderful ability to make life seem more interesting and calm.
Tip 4. Focus on Being Deliberate
Each moment we are here on earth is filled with a myriad of deliberate actions. Once we tune into those moments, we can fully enjoy them.
Set your lunch out in an attractive setting, and make sure the paintings or pictures that surround you make you smile. Wear shoes that make your feet smile. Being deliberate gives you time to think, not only about yourself, but also about the impact you make on the world.
Tip 5. Learn to Love Yourself Again
Once we were all happy babies! Happy enough in our chubby and cute bodies. Happy to find our toes and scream in delight.
Over time, society and people’s opinions eroded that happiness away. We became aware that our bodies, our jobs, our faces, our thoughts and our ideas were not right.
Well, that’s according to various people.
The thing is, you were always just right. You were just as you were meant to be. Let go of judgment, don’t judge other people. Let go of silly media-induced ideals, and focus on what is good about yourself. Physically and mentally.
Seek to fall in love with yourself again, and accept yourself 100%. Don’t grow one day older and regret not loving yourself when you were a day younger. Fill your life, your Instagram feed, and your Facebook with people who inspire you, not people who make you feel bad about yourself. Or, if you cannot, then press the delete button.
Tip 6. Understand that Roles are Roles
Perhaps you feel pressure to be a wife, a mother, or a husband and a father. These roles might not be for you at all. You have the right to reject them. Or, you can do them differently. You can redesign the roles society has put out before you. Don’t compare your idea of what a mother is to social media, adverts and society’s ideas.
Society might push you to get a house, a mortgage, or buy a fancy car on a long-term lease. Maybe you don’t want a mortgage, but would prefer a tiny house, or mobile home.
If that brings you joy, then do it. If you’d rather not get involved in parking in the city every day or paying maintenance costs on a vehicle, then catch the train and let the train do all those things for you! The early morning walk to the train station can be a wonderful exercise in consciousness.
Understanding your values helps define your roles in society.
Tip 7. Make Work Your Life and Your Life Your Work
People who love their jobs don’t find it hard work. Perhaps you are in a situation where you have no choice, this is the thing.
You do have choices.
Remind yourself that you might be where you are right now, but this is just part of your learning curve. Perhaps the job you are doing now will lead to better things in the future. You could be laying the foundation for better things.
How to choose a career? Maybe you could freelance? Open a webpage that uses these skills? There are always choices and chances, but transition over slowly and thoughtfully. Most jobs can diversify, and most jobs you can look at differently, adding your bit of special flavor and talent. This alone could change your job experience entirely. It’s all about a change of perspective.
Tip 8. Decide How to Spend More Consciously
Make a decision once again about those things that are important to you. It might seem like a new pair of shoes, or an expensive watch, is something you need, but if you examine your life, you might realize that this is not really what you need.
Check this guide on How To Save Money At Home.
What you need is more happiness and comfort. If an expensive watch comforts you, then buy it.
Many people who live consciously start clearing away clutter. They realize that they have collected a lot of stuff, and the stuff was part of the solution to a problem they had over time. That problem was frustration and unhappiness at not living life the way they wanted.
Once you understand that you can design your life the way you want it, some things you thought were desirable are suddenly not so important.
Living consciously also requires you to focus on what you look at, what you absorb, and what you spend time with. If you find certain media is enticing you to not be conscious of what you want, then move away from those media portals. It is always a process, not a destination. Spend time with people who understand the importance of conscious living.
Tip 9. Spend Time Appreciating What You Already Have
Your friends, your family, great books you’d love to read again. A coffee machine you adore, these are things you might already have, and if you do and don’t see them anymore, spruce them up to their former glory.
Be good to your family, take care of your friends, and enjoy that delicious coffee.
It is amazing how fast an item from a store, that looked so enticing and life-changing, completely changed after a few months of use. We hardly see it anymore. Breathe life into that item, whether an object or another human being. Don’t get caught in the cycle of wanting more and feeling less.
Tip 10. Give Away Things, a Lot!
You might have started to clear away clutter, to understand that too many things didn’t make you happy. They could still make someone else happy. Your actions will always impact the world. Kindness impacts everyone who receives it.
Give those items to charities, understanding that it could make a family of four happier.
Giving away and not hanging onto things changes your world view. It also changes the dynamic in your life.
Tip 11. Don’t be Afraid to Show Compassion
These days, society’s focus is on the individual. Society is fickle. Years ago, everything was about helping everyone else and discarding yourself. Now this idea has been turned completely on its head. A happy medium will bring more happiness. Make sure you are happy, but also look outside of yourself.
Showing care and compassion for other people is a good characteristic to have, and often life gives back what we hand out.
It might be trendy to be self-involved in less than positive ways these days, but being helpful to others brings more happiness in the long term than a negative self-obsession with appearance, for example.
People might purchase a perfect pout, but a dazzling innate loving smile is priceless and not for sale to just anyone!
Every moment is filled with possibilities. Some people have made websites and books on arranging simple everyday items into glorious patterns (for example: Everyday Objects Obsessively Organized into Patterns by Adam Hillman)
This is how life becomes amazing and how to make life more exciting. Seeing beauty and awe in simple everyday tasks.
Savoring your lunch, enjoy preparing your dinner mindfully and purposefully.
Ironing a shirt lovingly and making your bed as comfortable as possible.
Eating well, treating yourself well, and other people are more important than ‘things’. Exercising and looking after your health are more important than how you look.
Exercising should also always be about what you love to do. Not necessarily about joining a gym and making yourself sweat for two hours. There can be several health benefits over and above a workout, like going for a long walk in the beautiful scenery.
Living purposefully is slowly gaining momentum over time and spaces across the world, and the more it does, the less depression and anxiety will occur. The less spending and wasting of precious time, and the less frustration there will be, as each task becomes a gift of savoring the life we have, and life surely is a gift to treasure. So, try to live consciously, it will make a difference.